Is Life’s Journey Too Great For You?

Have you ever felt so tired of life’s journey that you wish God would just take you to Himself? So battle-worn from fighting against Satan’s persistent lies crushing you down to despair? So heart heavy with the mess this world is in and how God and love and compassion are often shoved aside?

Elijah was tired of living. He was advocating for the One True God, and he had just confronted the false prophets of Baal. Queen Jezebel was furious and out to kill him. Filled with fear, Elijah fled and ran a day’s journey to the wilderness. He was weary – mind, body, and soul. Exhausted, he collapsed under a broom tree, a large desert bush.

“I have had enough, Lord. Take my life…” he cried. As he sank into the mire of despondency, he lay down and fell asleep.

A touch woke him up. “Arise and eat,” an angel said. Bread baking on some hot coals and a jar of water were waiting for him. He ate and drank, but he lay down again.

But the God of endless patience and compassion didn’t let him remain there. Elijah’s journey on this earth was far from over. His work for God was not finished. Again an angel touched him. “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”

“The angel of the Lord
came again a second time
and touched him and said,
‘Arise, eat, because the journey
is too great for you.’”
1 Kings 19:7

This time Elijah surrendered his weary soul to God. He got up. He ate and drank. He opened his heart to God’s faithful provision and moved forward in the strength of God. Jezebel was still looking for him. He didn’t know what danger, loneliness, or disappointment lay ahead. But he remembered God is bigger than anyone or anything he would face, God was with him no matter what, and God would strengthen him in His journey on this earth.

In this journey of life,
We will have
Times of deep anguish,
Times of sinking in the mire of despair,
Times of feeling forsaken by God.

But Jesus Whispers

My precious child,

I’m still the same God today.

I was there for Elijah

And I am here for you.

Arise and eat, My child.

The journey is too great for you.

Eat the manna of My love

Drink My life-giving water

Relax in the arms of My grace,

My power and My will.

And you will find rest

For mind, body, and soul.

I hold you, My child,

In the arms of My everlasting love,

No lies can snatch you away from Me.

You are safe with Me.

Marvelously made and enough.

Ssshhh…

Be still, My child, be still.

Be encouraged

You don’t have to journey alone.

Rest in My Truth,

And I will refresh your weary soul.

“No, in all these things
we are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
neither angels nor demons,

neither the present nor the future,
nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39

Heal Our Land
by Kari Jobe

“You take our lives
Flawed yet beautiful
Restore, refine
Lord You’re merciful
Redeem, revive
Spirit of God
Breathe on Your church
Pour out Your presence
Speak through Your word
We pray in every nation, Christ be known
Our hope and salvation, Christ alone
New power, new wine
As divisions fall
One church, one bride
Jesus, Lord of all
With one voice, we cry…”

May Hope Whispers


“Yet I call this to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish,
for His mercies never end.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness!”
Lamentations 3:21-23

“May the GOD OF HOPE
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with HOPE
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13

God’s Plan Is Greater Than Ours

“If we look back on each of our lives, how many times did God have another plan than we did? Seasons of pain and suffering. Times of loss and heartache. Days of darkness where we wondered if God was really with us at all.”

(Over the past couple of months, this 2015 post has been visited often, raising it to the most popular post so far in 2020.)

Nature is a Retreat of Hope

“Adopt the pace of nature.
Her secret is patience.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you to my brother John for these stunning photos.
(🙂 Please respect copyright laws. 🙂)

Meet Desi, a 20 to 25 year old male desert tortoise, recently adopted by John and MJ. Desert tortoises are protected. If someone takes them from the wild or they roam into the city, they cannot be released back into the wild because of disease concerns. These may be adopted by Arizonian residents who create a nurturing habitat for them and are approved.
Desi is traveling through the trumpet vines.
Young Great Horned Owl
Did you know an owl has three eyelids? The upper closes when an owl blinks and the lower closes when he sleeps. John captured the third diagonal eyelid on an immature owl, the nictitating membrane, a thin layer that cleans and protects the surface of the eye.
Immature Cooper’s hawk
Cooper’s hawk
Isn’t this raccoon cute? 🙂
Gadwall Duck Pair

I’m taking a break from posting. I hope to return the first Tuesday in August. Meanwhile, please feel free to email me if you have a prayer request or just want to connect with me. 🙂 (My email is in the right-hand column.)
God bless and strengthen you
through whatever troubles
you are going through!

 

When It’s Hard to Let Go and Trust God to Catch Us

Courtesy of Jeanne Takenaka

Heavy emotions can feel like an undercurrent tugging us down into discouragement and depression, can’t they? We can keep trying to desperately cling to our only HOPE. But sometimes… Lord, I can’t hang on anymore…

I sometimes feel so overwhelmed with sadness over all the sorrow and suffering in the world, and this Covid pandemic has my emotions all over the map. But I often trap them inside. I feel compelled to show others I am strong enough to handle them on my own. Including God… I allow burdens, that of others and of myself, to weigh me down too much instead of truly surrendering them over to God who alone has the power to rescue, redeem, and restore.

I even fight against the way God chooses to redeem and revive. I forget not a tear is wasted. I forget that our hearts are transformed the most through suffering. I forget God has the power to paint beauty out of ashes.

Before this Covid crisis hit us, I downloaded a free devotional book about Finding God’s Presence in Everyday Living. When Jeanne Takenaka wrote it, she had no idea how fitting it would be for such a time as this.

One morning my heart nudged me to get back to reading it. The first words I read expressed my feelings:

“Have you ever felt like life was overwhelming you? Like thing after thing was piling on you, stealing your strength and leaving you gasping?” (Jeanne Takenaka)

Oh yes, that is how I feel, Lord! Please help us!

Then towards the end of the devotion:

“When the ground beneath us shifts, God’s mercy upholds us. He is always with us, in every season. 
 
We can find reassurance knowing our Father’s got us. He’s holding our hands and sharing His consolations with us when we need them most.” (Jeanne Takenaka)

Yes, Lord, I want to believe
Your mercy will hold us up!
I believe, please help my unbelief!

The ground beneath us has shifted drastically throughout this entire world. We may feel like we’re free falling into a deep, dark hole. Simple everyday things we thought we had control of have been taken out of our hands.

But God…

God’s got us, and His mercy will uphold us, no matter what we’re going through. So why am I still afraid?

You know how a well-adjusted child jumps into the arms of a loving father? Trusting with all his heart that Daddy will catch him?

When our trust has been so broken in life, even when we have come far on the journey of healing, fear can suddenly pop up. Lack of control over our lives may trigger fear of trusting others, even our Heavenly Father. Even when He invites us, “Come, My child. Jump into My arms. I’ll catch you and I’ll hold you closely in My loving arms. I won’t harm you. I’ll fight for you. So trust Me, My child! I’ve got this! Trust My way and My timing. Relax, let go of your grip on control, and surrender your heart and life to Me. Let yourself fall into My arms!” 

Desperately, we keep holding onto some form of control. Is He really safe? Will He truly catch us? Will He hold us and get us through this?

God has promised He will!

“The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’”
Deuteronomy33:27 AMP

And you know what? God doesn’t condemn us when we slip and find ourselves not trusting Him again. He understands that struggling journey far better than any person in the world does. He accepts us just as we are in all our humanness. He understands how our emotions can take us all over the map. But He never gives up on us, even when we give up on Him. He holds His arms open wide and keeps coaxing us to let go and fall into His arms of mercy and unfailing love that He has promised will support us!

“Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
Your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.”
Psalm 94:17-18

Just Be Held
by Casting Crowns
“Hold it all together
Everybody needs you strong
But life hits you out of nowhere
And barely leaves you holding on
And when you’re tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There’s freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go
So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away
You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world’s not falling apart, it’s falling into place
I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Just be held, just be held…”